Life-saving equipment will be installed at Uppingham Town Hall

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A vital piece of life-saving equipment will be made available for volunteers to use after councillors agreed to help fund it.

Members of Uppingham Town Council will pay for a defibrillator to be mounted on an exterior wall of Uppingham Town Hall in High Street West, they agreed at a meeting on Wednesday evening.

The equipment will cost the council £1,750 in total but £600 will be donated by the Karen Ball Fund, as well as an estimated £460 donation from an anonymous source. The council will cover the remaining costs.

A defibrillator can give the heart an electric shock in some cases of cardiac arrest. It can be used by trained volunteers.

Uppingham’s new defibrillator will be provided by Community Heart Beat, which will also hold public training sessions as part of the cost.

Speaking at the meeting, Mayor David Casewell said: “We had a choice to make - whether we bought a defibrillator for inside the hall, bought one for an outside wall at the hall, or didn’t buy one at all.

“We’ve talked about it long and hard but I believe we’ve made the right decision to purchase one that can be used by members of the public in emergencies.”

There are currently four defibrillators in the town. Those located at The Beeches, Market Place and The Falcon Hotel are all for public use but a code is needed to open the cabinets they are placed in. There is also one at Uppingham Surgery in London Road.

The new defibrillator will be placed on an outside wall of the hall and will be ready for use without the need of a code.

The cost of an internal defibrillator is £1225.

The total cost of an external one is greater due to its protective box and signage.

Coun Ian Salt said: “I do not like spending money but I believe we should in this case.

“The equipment should be on the outside wall where members of the public can use it.”

According to the British Heart Foundation for every minute that passes without defibrillation chances of survival decrease by 14 per cent.

In Oakham, Joyce Lucas, along with the Karen Ball Fund, is calling for businesses to come forward and help fund payments for a defibrillator in the town.

Community Heart Beat has advised the fund that Oakham needs at least three or four defibrillators based on its size and population.